Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows and What the Saints Have Said About Devotion to Our Lady’s Dolors
“Jesus Christ Himself revealed to Blessed Veronica of Binasco,
that, He is more pleased in seeing His Mother compassionated than Himself.” He said to her: ‘My daughter, tears shed for My Passion are dear to Me; but as I loved My Mother Mary with an immense love, the meditation on the torments which She endured at My death is even more agreeable to Me.
In her autobiography, St. Teresa of Avila reported the following:
“He Our Lord said to me, that when He rose again He showed
Himself to Our Lady, because She was in great trouble; for sorrow had so pierced Her soul that She did not even recover Herself at once in order to have the fruition of that joy. By this I saw how different was my piercing. But what must that of the Virgin have been? He Our Lord remained long with Her then because it was necessary to console Her.”
Consecration to Our Lady of Sorrows
Most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, Mary, would that I could be in Heaven, there to contemplate the honors rendered to thee by the Most Holy Trinity and by the whole Heavenly Court! But since I am still a pilgrim in this vale of tears, receive from me, thy unworthy servant and a poor sinner, the most sincere homage and the most perfect act of vassalage a human creature can offer thee. In thy Immaculate Heart, pierced with so many swords of sorrow, I place today my poor soul forever; receive me as a partaker in thy dolors, and never suffer that I should depart from that Cross on which thy only begotten Son expired for me. With thee, O Mary, I will endure all the sufferings, contradictions, infirmities, with which it will please thy Divine Son to visit me in this life. All of them I offer to thee, in memory of the Dolors which thou didst suffer during thy life, that every thought of my mind, every beating of my heart may henceforward be an act of compassion to thy Sorrows, and of complacency for the glory thou now enjoyest in Heaven. Since then, O Dear Mother, I now compassionate thy Dolors, and rejoice in seeing thee glorified, do thou also have compassion on me, and reconcile me to thy Son Jesus, that I may become thy true and loyal son (daughter); come on my last day and assist me in my last agony, even as thou wert present at the Agony of thy Divine Son Jesus, that from this painful exile I may go to Heaven, there to be made partaker of thy glory. Amen.
PRAYER FOR A HAPPY DEATH TO OUR LADY OF SORROWS
O Mother of Sorrows, by the anguish and love with which Thou didst stand beside the Cross of Jesus, stand by me in my last agony. To Thy maternal Heart I commend the three last hours of my life. Offer these hours to the Eternal Father in union with the agony of our dearest Lord. Offer frequently to the Eternal Father, in atonement for my sins, the Precious Blood of Jesus, mingled with Thy tears on Calvary, to obtain for me the grace to receive Holy Communion with most perfect love and contrition before my death, and to breathe forth my soul in the actual presence of Jesus.
Dearest Mother, when the moment of my death has come, present me as Thy child to Jesus; say to Him in my behalf: “Son, forgive him, for he knew not what he did. Receive him this day into Thy kingdom.”
Litany of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows
by Pope Pius VII
Our Lady lamented to St. Bridget that very few consoled Her by
meditating on Her Sorrows, and “that the greater part of the world lived in forgetfulness of them: ‘I look around at all who are on earth, to see if by chance there are any who pity Me, and meditate upon My Sorrows; and I find that there are very few. Therefore, My daughter, though I am forgotten by many, at least do you not forget Me; consider My anguish, and imitate, as far as you can, My grief.’”
A litany is a well-known and much appreciated form of responsive petition, used in public liturgical services, and in private devotions, for common necessities of the Church, or in calamities — to implore God’s aid or to appease His just wrath.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, pray for us
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us
Mother of the Crucified, pray for us
Sorrowful Mother, pray for us
Mournful Mother, pray for us
Sighing Mother, pray for us
Afflicted Mother, pray for us
Foresaken Mother, pray for us
Desolate Mother, pray for us
Mother most sad, pray for us
Mother set around with anguish, pray for us
Mother overwhelmed by grief, pray for us
Mother transfixed by a sword, pray for us
Mother crucified in thy heart, pray for us
Mother bereaved of thy Son, pray for us
Sighing Dove, pray for us
Mother of Dolors, pray for us
Fount of tears, pray for us
Sea of bitterness, pray for us
Field of tribulation, pray for us
Mass of suffering, pray for us
Mirror of patience, pray for us
Rock of constancy, pray for us
Remedy in perplexity, pray for us
Joy of the afflicted, pray for us
Ark of the desolate, pray for us
Refuge of the abandoned, pray for us
Shiled of the oppressed, pray for us
Conqueror of the incredulous, pray for us
Solace of the wretched, pray for us
Medicine of the sick, pray for us
Help of the faint, pray for us
Strength of the weak, pray for us
Protectress of those who fight, pray for us
Haven of the shipwrecked, pray for us
Calmer of tempests, pray for us
Companion of the sorrowful, pray for us
Retreat of those who groan, pray for us
Terror of the treacherous, pray for us
Standard-bearer of the Martyrs, pray for us
Treasure of the Faithful, pray for us
Light of Confessors, pray for us
Pearl of Virgins, pray for us
Comfort of Widows, pray for us
Joy of all Saints, pray for us
Queen of thy Servants, pray for us
Holy Mary, who alone art unexampled, pray for us
Pray for us, most Sorrowful Virgin, that we may be made worth of the promises of Christ
Let us pray, — O God, in whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of grief pierced through the most sweet soul of Thy glorious Blessed Virgin Mother Mary: grant that we, who celebrate the memory of her Seven Sorrows, may obtain the happy effect of Thy Passion, Who lives and reigns world without end, Amen.
A Sinner’s Prayer To Our Sorrowful Mother
O my most sweet Mother, how shall I die, poor sinner that I am? Even now the thought of that important moment when I must expire, and appear before the judgment-seat of God, and the remembrance that I have myself so often written my condemnation by consenting to sin, makes me tremble. I am confounded, and fear much for my eternal salvation. O Mary, in the blood of Jesus, and in Thy intercession, is all my hope. Thou art the Queen of Heaven, the mistress of the universe; in short, Thou art the Mother of God. Thou art great, but Thy greatness does not prevent, nay, even it inclines Thee to greater compassion towards us in our miseries. Worldly friends when raised to dignity disdain to notice their former friends who may have fallen into distress. Thy noble and loving heart does not act thus, for the greater the miseries it beholds the greater are its efforts to relieve. Thou, when called upon, dost immediately assist; nay, more, Thou dost anticipate our prayers by Thy favors; Thou consolest us in our afflictions; Thou dissipatest the storms by which we are tossed about; Thou overcomest all enemies; Thou, in fine, never losest an occasion to promote our welfare. May that Divine hand which has united in th6ee such majesty and such tenderness, such greatness and so much love, be forever blessed! I thank my Lord for it, and congratulate myself in having so great an advantage; for truly in Thy felicity do I place my own, and I consider Thy lot as mine. O comfortress of the afflicted, console a poor creature who recommends himself to Thee. The remorse of a conscience overburdened with sins fills me with affliction. I am in doubt as to whether I have sufficiently grieved for them. I see that all my actions are sullied and defective; Hell awaits my death in order to accuse me; the outraged justice of God demands satisfaction. My Mother, what will become of me? If thou dost not help me, I am lost. What sayest Thou, wilt Thou assist me? O compassionate Virgin, console me; obtain for me true sorrow for my sins; obtain for me strength to amend, and to be faithful to God during the rest of my life. And finally, when I am in the last agonies of death, O Mary, my hope, abandon me not; then, more than ever, help and encourage me, that I may not despair at the sight of my sins, which the evil one will then place before me. My Lady, forgive my temerity; come Thyself to comfort me with thy presence in that last struggle. This favor Thou hast granted to many, grant it also to me. If my boldness is great, Thy goodness is greater; for it goes in search of the most miserable to console them. On this I rely. For t5hy eternal glory, let it be said that Thou hast snatched a wretched creature from Hell, to which he was already condemned, and that Thou hast led him to Thy kingdom. Oh, yes. sweet Mother, I hope to have the consolation of remaining always at Thy feet in heaven. thanking and blessing and loving Thee eternally. O Mary, I shall expect Thee at my last hour; deprive me not of this consolation. Fiat, fiat. Amen, amen.
(ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI)
Prayer for Past Ingratitude to Our Sorrowful Mother
O compassionate Mother, most sacred Virgin, behold at Thy feet the traitor, who, by paying with ingratitude the graces received from God through Thy means, has betrayed both Thee and Him. But I must tell Thee, O most blessed Lady, that my misery, far from taking away my confidence, increases it; for I see that Thy compassion is great in proportion to the greatness of my misery. Show Thyself, O Mary, full of liberality towards me; for thus Thou art towards all who invoke Thy aid. All that I ask is that Thou shouldst cast Thine eyes of compassion on me, and pity me. If Thy heart is thus far moved, it cannot do otherwise than protect me; and if Thou protectest me, what can I fear? No, I fear nothing, I do not fear my sins, for Thou canst provide a remedy; I do not fear devils, for Thou art more powerful than the whole of Hell; I do not even fear Thy Son, though justly irritated against me, for at a word of thine He will be appeased. I only fear lest, in my temptations, and by my own fault, I may cease to recommend myself to t6hee, and thus be lost. But I now promise thee that I will always have recourse to Thee; oh, help me to fulfill my promise. Lose not the opportunity which now presents itself of gratifying Thy ardent desire to succor such poor wretches as myself. In Thee, O Mother of God, I have unbounded confidence. From th6ee I hope for grace to bewail my sins as I ought, and from Thee I hope for strength never again to fall into them. If I am sick, Thou, O heavenly physician, canst heal me. If my sins have weakened me, Thy help will strengthen me. O Mary, I hope all from Thee; for Thou art all-powerful with God. Amen.
(ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI)
Prayers in Honor of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Pope Pius VII approved this series of prayers in honor of the Seven Sorrows of Mary for daily meditation in 1815:
O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
1. I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of Thy tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by Thy heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God. Hail Mary…
2. I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of Thy most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and Thy sojourn there. Dear Mother, by Thy heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety. Hail Mary…
3. I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried Thy troubled heart at the loss of Thy dear Jesus in the Temple. Dear Mother, by Thy heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge. Hail Mary…
4. I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of Thy heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His Cross. Dear Mother, by Thy heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude. Hail Mary…
5. I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which Thy generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony on the Cross. Dear Mother, by Thy afflicted heart obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel. Hail Mary…
6. I grieve for Ther, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of Thy compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance before His Body was removed from the Cross. Dear Mother, by Thy heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding. Hail Mary…
7. I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched Thy most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by Thy heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom. Hail Mary…
Let Us Pray:
Let intercession be made for us, we beseech The, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, before the throne of Thy mercy, by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of Thy bitter Passion. Through Thee, O Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end. Amen.
The Blessed Virgin Mary revealed to St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) that seven graces are granted to the souls who honor her daily by saying seven Hail Mary’s and meditating on her tears and dolors.
1) I will grant peace to their families.
2) They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.
3) I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
4) I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
5) I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
6) I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother.
7) I have obtained (This Grace) from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.
St. Alphonsus Liguori testifies to complementary revelations given by Our Lord to St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) where Jesus further promises four special graces to those dedicated to the sufferings of the co-redeeming Mother:
1. That those who before death invoke the Blessed Mother in the name of her sorrows, should obtain true repentance of all their sins.
2. That He would protect in their tribulations all who remember this devotion, and that He would protect them especially at the hour of death.
3. That He would impress upon their minds the remembrance of His Passion, and that they should have their reward for it in Heaven.
4. That He would commit such devout clients to the hands of Mary, so that she might obtain for these souls all the graces she wanted to lavish upon them.
Our Lord once said to Blessed Veronica of Binasco: “My daughter, the tears which you shed in compassion for My sufferings are pleasing to Me, but bear in mind that on account of My infinite love for My Mother, the tears you shed in compassion for her sufferings are still more precious.”
THE SAINTS ON DEVOTION TO OUR LADY’S SORROWS
St. Albert the Great said, “that as we are under great obligations to Jesus for His Passion endured for our love, so also are we under great obligations to Mary for the martyrdom which She voluntarily suffered for our salvation in the death of Her Son.”
“While other martyrs suffered by sacrificing their own lives, the
Blessed Virgin suffered by sacrificing Her Son’s life a life that She loved far more than Her own; so that She not only suffered in Her soul all that Her Son endured in His body, but moreover the sight of Her Son’s torments brought more grief to Her heart than if She had endured them all in Her own person.”
“The Passion of Jesus began with His birth. So also did Mary, in all things like unto Her Son, endure Her martyrdom throughout Her life.” (St. Bernard)
“The grief of Mary was so great that, were it divided amongst all men, it would suffice to cause their immediate death.”
(St. Bernardine of Sienna)
“The Blessed Virgin Mary, for the love She bore us, was willing to see Her Son sacrificed to Divine Justice by the barbarity of men. This great torment, then, which Mary endured for us a torment that was more than a thousand deaths deserves both our compassion and our gratitude. If we can make no other return for so much love, at least let us give a few moments this day to consider the greatness of the sufferings by which Mary became the Queen of martyrs; for the sufferings of Her great martyrdom exceeded those of all the martyrs; being, in the first place, the longest in point of duration; and in the second place, the greatest in point of intensity.”
(St. Alphonsus de Liguori)